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[curator]kaplan@archive.org[/curator][date]20150316144319[/date]

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U.s. 17, Us 17, Edward Snowden 10, United States 9, Russia 9, John Conyers 8, Michigan 8, Obama 7, Thomas Massie 7, Mr. Snowden 6, Snowden 6, Amy Goodman 5, Fisa 5, Nsa 5, New York 5, Keith Alexander 4, Kentucky 4, Burger King 4, Lynne Stewart 3, Obama Administration 3,
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  LINKTV    Democracy Now    News/Business. Independent global news hour featuring news  
   headlines, in depth interviews and investigative reports....  

    August 2, 2013
    3:00 - 4:01pm PDT  

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08/02/13 08/02/13 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! snowden is not a whistleblower. he is accused of leaking classified information and has been charged with three felony bents, and he should returned to the united states as soon as possible where he will be accorded full due process and protections. >> as the white house condemns russia for granting edward snowden temporary asylum, the
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nsa surveillance program is coming under increasing criticism in washington from an unlikely bipartisan coalition. we will speak with republican huggers member thomas massie of kentucky and democratic congressman or her john conyers of michigan on their efforts to tracking everyom phone call in the united states. >> it is my fear that we are on the verge of becoming a surveillance state, collecting billions of electronic records on law-abiding americans every single day. >> then, a national strike for a living wage and the right to unionize in the fast food and retail sectors spreads across 7 cities. [indiscernible] we cannot support our families on what we make. workerill speak with one
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who went on strike. he is a father of three who works at both burger king and pizza hut. all of that and more coming up. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the obama administration is reconsidering plans for a summit with russian president vladimir putin next month after russia granted a year of temporary asylum to national security agency whistleblower edward snowden. on thursday, snowden left the moscow airport where he had been sheltering for more than a month while the united states sought his return to face espionage charges for revealing nsa spy programs. in a statement released by wikileaks, edward snowden said --
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a russian lawyer for snowden said he is set to begin a new life in russia. we will have more on snowden and the latest nsa leaks after headlines with two members of congress were trying to defined the nsa's all collection of phone and data records -- democrat john conyers of michigan and kentucky republican thomas massie. says iraq hasions closed out its deadliest month in more than five years following a wave of sectarian bombings and shootings. in total, the violence killed 1057 iraqis and injured more than 2300 in july. many of the attacks focused on iraq's shiite majority which leads the government. in egypt, supporters of former president mohammed morsi are .aunching new protests today the interimedge by government to gradually clear out morsi supporters who have been occupying cairo squares,
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protesters said thursday they will remain in place. we will not evacuate the square until mohamed morsi is returned to power and legitimacy and the parliament returns. that's all we did -- that's all. a peaceful message is more powerful than bullets. it is more powerful than bullets. >> president obama and the yemeni president met at the white house thursday and pledged to work together to repatriate yemeni prisoners held at guantánamo. human rights groups criticized obama for failing to lay out concrete steps for the transfers . of the 86 guantánamo prisoners cleared for release or transfer, 56 are yemeni. the meeting between obama and president hadi came just hours after a u.s. drone strike in yemen killed four people. i yemeni security official said the victims were al qaeda suspects. it was the third u.s. strike in yemen in five days.
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secretary of state john kerry told pakistanis on thursday he hopes the u.s.. strikes in their country "very, very soon." he made remarks in a television interview following a meeting with the pakistani prime minister. he claimed president obama has a very real timeline for ending the drone strikes. thewhile, investigation by bureau of investigative journalism solidifies claims the cia targeted rescuers at the scenes of earlier drone strikes in pakistan last year. a report by pakistani journalist commission by the bureau found five so-called double tap strikes took place in mid-2012, 1 of which also struck a mosque. in total, the attacks killed 53 people in injured 57. a parallel investigation by the legal charity reprieve found 8 pakistani civilians died in one double tap strike last july. afghan officials said nato helicopter that was called to assist afghan police at a highway check point opened fire
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and mistakenly killed five afghan officers. a spokesperson for the governor in the eastern province said the police officers had come under fire and called for air support from nato. spokespeople for the us-led international security assistance force in afghanistan provided a slightly different version of the incident to the associated press, saying the nato helicopter killed five afghan soldiers during an operation involving both international and afghan troops. they said an investigation is underway. as the u.s. army has launched a new investigation into allegations it special forces have abducted and killed afghan civilians. afghan president karzai briefly ordered a band u.s. troops in earlierince of wardak this year over claims of the abuse and disappearance of nine u.s.n prisoners read the
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military has denied involvement in the abductions. an afghan translator recently arrested for his alleged involvement has accused the u.s. forces he worked with of committing the abuses. the translator says he knows of three afghan civilians who were handed over to the u.s. forces alive only to later turn up dead. the united states is closing a number of its diplomatic post around the world on sunday citing unspecified security concerns. departmente spokesperson did not elaborate on the nature of the threat against u.s. facilities, but said it's possible some may remain closed for more than a day. >> the department of state has an drug did -- has instructed to suspend operations on sunday, august 4. at the department has been apprised of information that of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others that may be visiting our installations indicates we should institute these precautionary steps.
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the united nations has chemical weapons inspectors are poised to enter syria after the syrian president bashar al-assad agreed to allow them to gather first-hand evidence for the .irst time the inspectors will investigate three sides of alleged chemical weapon use, including one outside a let go where at least 30 people died in march. the al-assad regime and antigovernment rebels each blame each other for the attack read on thursday, the steering observatory for human rights said a rocket attack by rebels on an arms dump old at least 40 people in the central city of homs. a prominent blogger has been arrested him for rain days after the ruling monarchy vowed to intensify crackdown on antigovernment protest. the blogger has also worked as an assistant to foreign journalists visiting bahrain. earlier this week, the regime
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backed a proposal to ban demonstrations in the capital and impose penalties including revoking citizenship on protesters convicted of violence . uruguay is set to become the first country to fully legalize marijuana. he would create a state- controlled legal marijuana market where the people would be allowed to grow a limited amount of marijuana in their homes and purchase it from pharmacies after entering their names in the federal register he. the bill now goes to the burglary and where it is expected to pass. there are going president has touted the bill as a way to undermine the legal drug trade, which he termed a monopoly of mafias. and washington, d.c., dozens of immigrant leaders and allies were arrested thursday after blocking a major intersection is the capital to call for the passage of conference of immigration reform as congress prepares for summer recess. more than 40 people were detained, including some who are undocumented, as they protested republican efforts to increase border security without
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providing a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants read later in the day, more protesters were arrested for blocking the hallway outside the office of republican house speaker john , who so far has refused to take up the senate bill that includes a path to citizenship. this week, illinois democratic congress member luis gutierrez noted 44,000 people will be deported before congress reconvenes early next month. has confirmed obama nominee samantha power as the next u.s. ambassador to the united nations. power served as obama senior foreign-policy adviser during his first run for the white house before being forced to resign for calling hillary clinton a monster. she won a pulitzer prize in 2003 for her book "a problem from hell: america and the age of genocide." progressives has accused her of ignoring this bike atrocities will supporting humanitarian intervention abroad.
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esidenobama has tapped a former pervert restructuring expert to oversee the irs. john koskinen oversaw the overhaul of mortgage buyer freddie mac during the financial crisis and served as deputy director of the office of management and budget under president clinton. statement, obama called him an expert in reform. the irs has faced scandal over scrutiny of certain political groups to apply for tax-exempt status. in ohio man who held three women captive for a decade while repeatedly raping them has been officially sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole free at real castro pleaded guilty last week to hundreds of kidnapping and rape charges in the forced imprisonment of three women who all escaped in may. on thursday, castro delivered a ringling statement before his sentencing, apologizing to his victims but also claiming a consented to sex with him.
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survivor michele knight confronted him in court . >> i remember all of the times that you came home pointing out what everybody else did wrong. you said, "at least i didn't kill you." you took 11 years of my life away and now have got it back hell. spent 11 years in now your hell is just beginning. i will overcome all of this that hellned, but you will face for eternity. >> a federal jury in new york has found a former goldman sachs vice president dubbed the fabulous fabric liable for fraud in a civil case over a mortgage backed securities deal that cost investors $1 billion. jurors found fabrice tourre intentionally misled investors in the lead up to the financial
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crisis by sick with a hedge fund on investment scheme destined for implosion. piecesthe more notorious of evidence was an e-mail he wrote to a girlfriend saying -- fabrice tourre could face a fine or be banned from the industry. calls fors rejected an independent probe of the fbi's fatal shooting of an unarmed chechen men question for his ties of the boston marathon bombers in may. agents were questioning him at his apartment in orlando when he allegedly tried to attack them. for multiple anonymous claims that he was armed, it emerged that he had either a knife or a gun. in a statement, the aclu, which had asked for the rejected probe, said -- a federal court is weighing a bid by gerald civil rights attorney lynne stewart to obtain
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compassionate release from prison. the 73-year-old grandmother, stewart is fighting stage four cancer that has metastasized, spreading to her lymph nodes, shoulder, bones and lungs. she is serving a ten-year sentence of federal prison after being found guilty of just riveting press releases on behalf of her jailed clients, egyptian cleric omar abdel- rahman. the federal bureau of prisons recently denied her transfer to a hospital despite the recommendations of her prison warden. and a new court filing, stewart's attorneys right on wednesday, supporters in new york rallied outside a federal courtroom where the arguments in the case were heard. robert boyle, an attorney with lynne stewart's defense team, says he expects a decision as early as next week. , even from thet time she was arrested, even the government has never said she
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was a threat to anyone's safety breed and so what really basis can they have in her condition to keep her incarcerated? it is inhumane, it is cold, it is all of that. i could go on and on. in i think the judge today giving a next but i did scheduling is treating it seriously at a very minimum and hopefully, will do the right thing next week for you >> according to doctors, lynne stewart may have less than a year to live for it you can go to democracynow.org for our previous coverage of her case. those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. and vice obama president joe biden met with a group of tall -- top lawmakers thursday to discuss growing concerns about the nsa's broad surveillance programs. the meeting occurred just hours after russia granted nsa whistleblower edward snowden
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tipperary asylum for a year. snowden was the source behind a number of recent weeks about the nsa's ability to conduct surveillance across the globe. most recently, the guardian newspaper revealed the existence of a secret program called xkeyscore that gives nsa analysts real-time access to "nearly everything a typical user does on the internet" including e-mails, chats, and browsing history. the guardian has also revealed the u.s. government has paid more than $150 million to the q over they agency gch last few years to secure access to and influence over britain's intelligence gathering programs. on thursday, white house press secretary jay carney criticized russia for granting snowden asylum. >> we are extremely disappointed the russian government would take this step despite our very clear and lawful requests in public and in private that mr. snowden expelled to the united
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states to face the charges against him. mr. snowden is not a whistleblower. he is accused of leaking classified information and has been charged with three felony counts, and he should be returned to the united states as soon as possible where he will be accorded full due process protections. this move by the russian government undermines a long- standing record of law ,nforcement cooperation cooperation and has recently been on the upswing since the boston marathon bombings. >> russia's decision to grant edward snowden asylum comes at a time when the white house is coming under intense criticism from an unusual coalition of democrats and republicans over the nsa surveillance programs. last week the house duly passed a measure that would have prevented the nsa from using the patriot act to collect phone records of individuals who are not under investigation. the measure failed by aas wtteny
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republican democrat duo from michigan. meanwhile, group of lawmakers including republican congress of indiana rokita democratic commerce member adam schiff of california have introduced a bill entitled the ending secret law act. this would require public disclosure of opinions from the foreign intelligence surveillance court. we go now to capitol hill where we're joined by to congress members, democrat john conyers of michigan and raking member of the house judiciary committee and republican thomas massie of kentucky, who cosponsored the amendment to limit nsa surveillance. we welcome you both to democracy now! let us begin with congress member john conyers. you were the sponsor of this amendment, you cosponsored with amash, a republican from michigan. why now? what are you calling for?
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and tore calling for the this metadata -- end to this metadata of phone numbers of everyone in the united states of forica without any regard criminal investigation going on or anything else. is toint we are aiming at have relevance, which is written into the section 215 of the patriot act, be observed and adhered to -- which it wasn't read what they're doing is creating a haystack in which to put a needle. >> commerce member thomas massie , republicans and democrats are not usually known for working together. talk about your concerns around
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nsa spying. >> my concerns to the oversight of the programs. and a reporting to people. in march, we had the director of national intelligence come to congress, to the senate, to tell us this program did not exist. yet last week, we had the head of the nsa here lobbying to fund the program. what we need is more oversight. maintain theoth
program doesn't exist or tell us lies in congress, then ask us for funding. specifically what we need is more visibility into the fisa court rulings. we understand the need for secrecy in ongoing investigations, but we need to know how the fisa court is interpreting the laws that congress has written. we need oversight over that from congress and we need redirected and declassified versions of those fisa court rulings for the public. >> what are your thoughts about russia granting temporary asylum to edward snowden, who really
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started this ball rolling are what the intelligence officials of this country from keith alexander to james clapper have long tonight, but now admitted they were not telling the truth about the u.s. is spying on americans? >> clearly, his disclosures have changed the course of human history, really. i think his initial disclosures were a service to our country
because now we are having this conversation. and we wouldn't be having this conversation. i can't speak for mr. snowden's actions now, he is basically a person looking out for his own life at this point, but what he did initially was a service to our country. we need to facilitate a way for whistleblowers to do that in a better fashion. i don't think our current whistleblower laws would have provided for him to do what he has done in a better fashion, so
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i would like to see some reform there as well. >> do you think russia was right to grant him temporary asylum? >> i'm not in a comment on what russia should have done with mr. snowden. >> but do you feel mr. snowden did the right thing? >> i think initially he did. it would be hard for me to fault his actions at this point. he is a person who fears for his life, so, you know, he's doing what he can, i think, to stay alive at this point. by the way, i don't think our government really wants to try him. it would be a difficult trial and i think more things would be disclosed in the process of the trial, so it is not clear to me we have actually done everything we could to get him back here and try him. there may be another story there as well. >> congress member conyers, do you think edward snowden did the right thing? well, i think he was
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overzealous and probably didn't -- he has clearly broken some laws for which down the government wants to prosecute him for, but inadvertently, he has revealed to us a whole area of secrecy and activity with telephone collections and other things that are now being
revealed that would not have been revealed otherwise. add, some people say he should have gone to a congressman with this information. 20 or 30 probably congress members that already knew about this program. if he had went to them, i think we would not be having this discussion and he may already be in jail without the disclosure happening. >> i want to turn a president obama during an interview with charlie rose in june.
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he dismissed fears the nsa's bulk collection of metadata could potentially be abused. >> the very fact that there's , it has data in bulk the enormous potential for abuse because they will say, when you start looking at metadata, even if you don't know the names, you can match it up. if there is a call to a lawyer and an ecologist, you could pair that up and figure out maybe this person is dying and they are writing there will. all of that is true. except for the fact for the government under the program to do that, it would be illegal. we would not be allowed to do that. >> your response? fax well, of course it would be illegal. that is the whole point that is being made is that we are not using relevancy in this matter at all, and that is part of the statute.
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unless there is relevancy , we are on fishing expeditions, which are in proper and probably illegal -- improper and probably illegal. having said that, we have been we --d a look into what what most of us did not know anything about. i think we should look at more transparency, the makeup of the fisa courts -- as you know, amy, most of those are chief justice roberts hand-picked appointees to the court. and i think there is going to be a lot of follow-up and more legislation and oversight than there has ever been before. >> the obama administration brought out the heavy hitters. i was wondering, congress member thomas massie and john conyers,
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if you could describe what the legislation that you cosponsored, congressman conyers, with commerce member amash. you had the head of the nsa, james clapper, coming to the house members to say -- defeat this pre-yet, it was so close. >> it was seven votes would have made the difference. to be honest, we did not know we
were that close to victory. out a "dear colleague" letters urging that the amendment be supported and they were panicked by it. that even in the partisanship that goes on too much around here, that there are people will link to say enough is enough, the law isn't the
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patriot act isn't -- the patriot act isn't being followed. i didn't support the patriot act, but the patriot act would have gone down if we had known this was going to be part of its program. house,he floor of the you have the house majority leader, you have the speaker of the house, and the house minority leader all got up in really an unprecedented fashion and spoke in favor of keeping these nsa programs going. i was more optimistic, i think, then my colleague here, that it could pass. i think the straw that broke the camel's back was when the president came out ash i'm not blaming the democrats because more of them voted in favor of the constitution and freedom on this issue, but when the president came out and gave the extra little nudge, i think you heard us on the democrat side, but i will defer to my colleague, more of his members voted the right way on this than mine. >> we will take a break and come
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back to this discussion, speaking to congress members thomas massie and john conyers. d.c. at in washington, the capital. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are going to turn now to edward snowden in his own words. in his first interview with the guardian newspaper, edward snowden described why he risked his career to leak the documents. >> i think the public is owed an explanation of the motive behind the people who make these disclosures that are outside of the democratic model. when you're subverting the power of government, that is a fundamentally dangerous thing to democracy. if you do that in secret, consistently, as the government does when it wants to benefit
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from a secret action that it took, it will kind of give its officials a mandate to go, hey, tell the press about this thing and that thing, so. the public is on our side. they rarely if ever do that when an abuse occurs. they're typically maligned. it becomes a thing of these people are against the country or against the government for . but i'm not. i'm no different than anyone else. i'm just another guy who sits there day to day in the office, watches what is happening in goes, "this is something that is not our place to decide. the public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong or co i am willing to go on the record to defend the authenticity of them and say i did not change these, i did not modify the story. this is the truth, this is what is happening. >> that is edward snowden in his own words. he has left the russian airport.
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he has been granted temporary asylum by russia for a year. the reports are, though it is not known where he is right now, that he met americans online who offered that he could stay with them and it is believed that is where he is right now, though we don't know all the details. we're joined by congress members thomas massie and john conyers. a lot of the media, a tremendous amount is made about how republicans and democrats are not walk rating at all, a complete write-down on capitol hill. but here you both are standing together. it is not just the two of you. the growingtion, democratic republican criticism of the intelligence state is increasing. , congress member massie, if you could explain the next up for you and you have the
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commitment that was defeated by just a few votes to stop the .unding what is the next that? >> there is a bill called the liver the act -- liberty act. it would raise the threshold and require that there is some reasonable suspicion, articulable reasonable suspicion, and would give us more transparency into the goings-on of the fisa court. the publicbecause of outcry, we are hoping that will get a hearing at least in the judiciary committee, and it should possibly get a hearing in the intelligence committee, and that is what we need. hopefully, a markup and bring that bill. this failed.
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the amendment failed by only seven votes. i think of the vote were today and the members who voted no could do it over, i think this amendment would pass because they misjudge the public outcry on this issue. you played a tape of mr. snowden and the one thing he said that i do agree with is the public deserves to know about this program. the public does know about it. the public knows how their members voted last week. that will give us the momentum to get these bills like the liberty act passed. new399, can you explain the stand-alone bill you are close -- cosponsoring? >> what we're really trying to isis make sure there relevancy observed in that it is made clear we cannot massively collect metadata on everybody in
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the country. this is what is alarming people. we have the wind at our backs now, because people are concerned about it. during the august recess, there will be town hall meetings all over the place on this. what weill be learning could not have learned otherwise. the person that leaked it may be leaker.ealous i don't think he had criminal motives, but he sure violated the law and the judiciary , which i think our chairman will be willing to hold these hearings in the back, to e law and make it clear that if a
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involved in any suspicious activity, their phone numbers should not be collected. >> i want to turn to the nsa director keith alexander speaking last year the aspen security forum. he was asked about the collection of data on americans by the nsa. >> one other question about privacy, and read your statement
from a former nsa employee and william binney who recently said the nsa is putting together dossiers on every u.s. citizen, listing who we have relations with, what our activities are. is there any truth to that and why do stories like this persists? it isn't true., we're not putting dossiers up on every u.s. citizen. in fact, we don't have a dossier on you. i have never seen one of your e-
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mails from an intelligence perspective or otherwise, actually. from my perspective, these are grossly out of the truth. they really are. to think we would be collecting on every u.s. person, one, that would be against the law for you and two, we get great oversight by all breaches of the government. i must have been bad when i was a kid. we get supervised by the defense department.
o.ey see everything we do rea by the white house, by the congress, and by the court. so all branches of government can see what we're doing is correct. so my concern is that false statements like these seem to persist. you see them bounce around. it only hurts because people think, well, they must have something,
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there must be some element of truth. from my perspective, would you walk all the way through this, congress knows we're not doing it, all branches of our government see we are not doing it. all of them can audit it. from my perspective, not only should we stop leaks, but we .hould stop reporting this clearly, it's not right. >> your response to the director of the nsa general keith alexander? alexander told so many whoppers in one statement that it is hard to recount them all. first of all, this information isn't available to anybody. we only got it or a person that took it improperly and made it public. so the whole idea that they're well, i don't --
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suppose he can announce a way to modify what he said, but it is clearly, untruthful from beginning to end. >> i would also like you to massie, commerce member and just as the obama administration brought up this heavy hitters to defeat any kind of curtailing of the nsa's spying mechanism last week. republicans almost came out.
you are new congressmember, elected in 2012. you have senator mccain, for example, hitting the lot of you very hard, who are saying the they'reto be -- what doing has to be modified and surveilled itself. towell, let me go back whether these people should keep their jobs or not. parse generalably keith alexander's words and somebody could argue he wasn't
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lying, but i would say he was definitely misleading the public on that issue. the director of national intelligence james clapper was here in march and unambiguously lied to congress. i believe he was under oath. it sets a bad precedent for the whole organization to let him keep his post. i think you should be relieved of his post for lying to congress. he could have chosen other words to say. he could've said, "i can't
comment." >> could he be brought up on charges of perjury? >> if this were any american citizen or civilian, they would certainly be prosecuted for what he just did. at a minimum, he should lose his post. >> do you agree with that, commerce member conyers? >> yes, ma'am, i completely agree. i think we are now at the point of having a more honest
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disclosure of what is going on in our intelligence community, which we now find was very deliberately ignoring parts of the law that they knew perfectly well they were violating. a point of history, roger clemens was brought up on perjury charges for lying to congress in 2008 around steroids. .his seems to be a key area in fact, clapper himself admitted he did not tell the truth. >> if we accept the premise it is ok for government to lie to us or for one branch of the government to lie to another branch of government in order to protect our public safety, then we have crossed the threshold. we cannot accept it is ok for government to lie to us to protect us. >> we can't turn into a surveillance state, trying to conductthese kinds of
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that we all know is improper and probably illegal. you sense something very different than we're getting in the media, that there is a bipartisan convergence now that is happening, that isn't getting reported? that the obama administration is deeply concerned about? and do you have a sense they are shifting here, that they are feeling the pressure? >> i think they might be come a
because i was in the white house --terday -- full disclosure and the president of the united states said he was going to give me a call. i will be looking forward to that call. they know things are happening. frequentlyow, we
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work together on issues but they don't get reported were disclosed. there is bipartisanship at times. we are trying to improve it. moving into a better environment in the house of representatives. >> i agree. i can also say, yesterday, we were briefed in a classified briefing by general keith alexander and his tone seemed to be a lot more conciliatory and a lot more open because they realize if they're going to keep these programs around -- or some form of these programs, there but a public relations problem to deal with and are relations problem -- both parties of congress. to askre we go, i want you, commerce member conydeclat. do you feel the federal government should bail out
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detroit? >> well, i don't know if we are in a position to do that. what we're doing in the michigan congressional deliberation a wholeic is looking at list of programs that would assist to troy it what we are china determined is whether we have -- to assist detroit, we are trying to determine what we have received and second, whether there is any possibility of an a fitting from them. the thing we're most concerned about is protecting the pensions of those people who have worked .0, 40 years for the city fortunately, pensions are constitutionally protected in the michigan constitution. again, we have bipartisan support. the attorney general of
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michigan, a republican, has come out in support of protecting the pensions. so we are down, but we aren't out read we will rise again. >> thank you both for being with us, republican congressmember thomas massie of kentucky, elected in 2012. dinner credit commerce member john conyers, ranking member of the house judiciary committee. we will continue to follow the legislation you're introducing. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we will be back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. this week a national strike for a living wage and the right to unionize in the fast food and retail sectors has spread across seven cities. hundreds of workers have walked in the job yesterday walkie and before that in chicago, st. louis, kansas city,
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detroit, and flint, michigan -- as well as here in new york city . for more we're joined by one of the workers, terrance wise, who works at both burger king and pizza hut and is a member of the standard kansas city. .e joins us from kcpt and here in new york, we're joined by josh eidelson like intruding writer at salon.com. his latest piece is, "fast food strikes intensify in seven cities." josh, talk about this expanding, massive protest that is taking place. far the largest right by fast food workers in the history of the united states, less than one year after the first big strike by fast food workers anywhere in the united states. it demonstrates a real escalation in this campaign. it is a dramatic showdown between and embattled labor movement and an industry that increasingly not only is prevalent in the u.s. economy, but really represents where jobs
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are going in the u.s. economy. organizers estimate somewhere between 2000 and 3000 workers at least have gone on strike this week. this is a mammoth industry, so it is not one that is going to concede quickly. we will see this continue to escalate. >> talk about who is organizing these protests. >> the most significant player behind this is the service employees international union the has lots of fingerprints. it is been working in coalition in each of these cities with local groups, progressive , other nonunion groups that mobilize workers, clergy. i talked to an organizer in chicago who said, we went out to talk to people about fare hikes and the cost of public transit and we kept hearing back from people -- well, i could afford that if i got paid more in my job. you seen this coalition effort that is going to become more common. want to turn to some of the
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workers who have been out in the streets here in new york protesting outside of fast food joints from mcdonald's to burger king to wendy's. sixers oldwo kids, and 12 years old. both of my boys graduated kindergarten and fifth grade at the same time. my general manager told me he was going to give me some extra opportunities to make some money . he calls me on my day off and says, three days after that, every day differ manager since the home. at the end of the week, i only get a paycheck for 28 hours. i didn't have anything to do for my son. i couldn't really celebrate his graduation because i didn't have any money. >> we're going to stay in poverty and keep on suffering. see the next-o generation suffering. i don't want my kid suffering. i want to make sure that a
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better future than i did read if i want that to happen, i need you guys to stand with me just as long as i'm standing with you to fight for betting -- better living wage. >> two workers here in new york area dik. can you talk about how the living wage campaign fits in question mark president obama speaking about support for the minimum wage increasing the notmum wage, but they're talking about this, they're talking about doubling it. >> people ask whether a $15 minimum wage or $15 wage for the fast food industry is realistic. with the workers are demanding is a more realistic alternative to what obama has put forward because the president repeatedly has said that if you work full- time, you shouldn't be in poverty. having a nine dollar mensch among -- minimum wage still has
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people in poverty. we have seen having people out on strike has created momentum that politicians have jumped dust the corrosive progressive talk is has jumped onto. it is shifted it in a way that they did not know what was happening when you're pushing for labor law reform a few years ago. there wasn't a critical mass of workers in motion that would've created more momentum behind that effort. the workers are pushing for change in the work ways, but absolutely, having these workers out, forcing attention to the struggle by being on strike thomas has played some role in creating more political attention to poverty in the u.s. >> how does this blend with the walmart campaign? the our walmart campaign that you have been covering, led a strike in june. we spoke with a walmart worker
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from louisiana who participated. worked in the store 1102. we went on an unfair labor strike in early june. and we came back from our strike, we were both fired for going on strike. they told us, we missed a certain amount of days -- which were the days we went on strike. that was the reason for them firing us. actually against the law for them to fire us ribbeck we told them about it. at the time they said, they don't recognize our strike and that is why they were terminating -- terminating us. >> it is a union backed nonunion group for walmart. what he is describing is the greatest wave of retaliation against workers by walmart who
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are organizing that we have seen at least since 2005. there are 60 workers who went on strike last month who have been .isciplined in some way it represents a major threat. we have seen is workers attempted to defend workers who allegedly retaliated with more collective action. on friday night for the big strike wave starting this week, we saw workers at ominous walk workers comely 90 in defense of a worker who had been fired. they're taking on industries that increasingly not only represent inequality in the united states, but work in the u.s. >> talk about the mcdonald's sample budget. >> this is a document put out by mcdonald's and together with
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visa, which was a guide to workers of how to do budgeting. it brought a lot of mockery on mcdonald's, understandably, because what it shows unintentionally is that you cannot survive in a dignified way, in a decent way, on the budget of a full-time job at mcdonald's. in this budget, someone had two different fast food jobs and still had no money and the budget for heat, no money in the budget for clothing, $20 for health insurance. the truth is, there is no budget that mcdonald's could have created that would have worked because the average worker in the fast food industry makes around nine dollars an hour. >> we're joined by terrance wise in kansas city. i know there's a big storm happening there right now, rough weather. he works both that burger king and pizza hut. this week one of the workers who went on strike as part of this nationwide push by fast food workers to demand an increase in wages to $15 an hour with standup kansas city
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area and wanted to go out this week? >> i felt in the past year or so, i have noticed my job has been on the decline. i lost my home last year. we're pretty much been taking what our jobs have been handing us. it is like a dictatorship when we go to work everyday. i feel now is the time not only for me, but all workers all across the nation to stand up and speak out and come out of the shadows and let the public be aware of how we live our day- to-day lives, which is very poorly. and there needs to be changed. >> talk to you live your daily life. you work at both burger king and pizza hut. talk about supporting our family. >> i have three lovely daughters and an equally lovable fiancé. i am working two jobs at about 50 to 60 hours a week, so i'm leaving in the morning -- i left
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home this morning and my daughters were still asleep. when i get off tonight, they will probably be asleep again. it is consecutive days where i don't see my daughters. that is damaging to raising my family. that is one element that is really the hardest. it is just everyday hustle. -- publicsportation transportation every day, so i have to leave early to get to work so i'm gone 15, 17 hours a day. it is just a struggle every day. >> how much do you make? >> $7.47 an hour and pizza hut and $9.30 an hour at burger king where have been working for eight years. >> a lot of times the media characterizes fast food workers as high school kids earning and next roadblock -- an extra buck. >> where i work in both of my shots, i look around, they are
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not high schoolers. their people trying to raise families. the whole notion this is for high schoolers or someone trying to buy their first car or college students trying to get a little extra spending money, that is all nonsense. we are raising families. we deserve to get a living wage for what we do. >> what was the response of your employers to you striking at both companies? i focus on my coworkers. they were inspired and empowered and they are proud of all of the workers across the nation for stepping up and speaking out. what else do we have to lose? we are already dying slowly in our day-to-day lives, so why not speak up and stand up and let the nation know we are suffering? this is really a cry for help. this great nation should not turn their backs on working- class people who need help.
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>> finally, josh eidelson, what would it cost for these companies to double the wage to $15 at minimum for all of the workers? >> the way the companies respond is to talk about the individual franchisees. this is what i call the "who's the boss" problem. it is not the individual franchisees they hired to be the legal employee of the workers. when it comes to the corporations, mcdonald's has doubled its profits. there is tremendous profits, tremendous wealth being created by the workers. those corporations are not want to share with those workers unless they're forced to, and that is why these workers are using accommodation the media, political, the pressure to
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change it. >> we have to leave it there but will continue to cover this story. thank you so much. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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